Thursday, February 12, 2009

Economic Roundup 2/12/2009

  • Congress and the White House reached an accord on a $789.5 billion economic-recovery package.  You can read further details here, but in general nobody will pay any taxes ($282 billion in tax cuts) and we're going to spend spend spend (the balance.)
  • In related news, the Chinese hate us.  No, really.  Those who fear that China will stop purchasing our Treasuries and leave us with few options for financing to pay for our mounting deficits should relax.  Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday that China would continue to purchase US Treasuries because it had no choice.  He also went on to say "We hate you guys.  Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion...we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys, but there is nothing much we can do."  This quote is in the Financial Times article, I am not making it up, I promise.
  • Retail sales actually rose unexpectedly in January by 1%, although the previous two months were revised lower and year over year sales were down 9.7%.  
  • The number of US workers filing new claims for jobless benefits remained near quarter-century highs above 600,000.  Total jobless claims lasting more than one week hit a fresh record, near the five-million mark.  The job loss picture remains grim.

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